Experience Report Cafe Welcome
The Café Welcome is located in Rheydt, where refugees meet with volunteers, who want to help the refugees to integrate as quickly as possible and in the best possible way.We from the migration project course had the opportunity to visit this meeting on Friday the 4th of May to talk with the refugees and helpers there. The refugees come first of all to integrate but also because these meetings, which take place on Mondays from 16:00 to 18:00 and Fridays from 15:00 to 17:00, distract the refugees from their difficult situation a little. So when we were there, we sat down with some migrants and talked about different topics. The helpers had these tables previously covered and also made sure that enough drinks and biscuits are at the table. When we introduced ourselves and were engrossed in individual conversations with the migrants I realized that they could speak German well. So the question came up, how long have you been in Germany and how long have you been working on your german language skills? Here I am referring to Nidal, he is Syrian and 28 years old. He escaped because of the war like almost everybody I talked to. Nidal arrived in Germany two years ago and has been learning German for two and a half years what you could hear. Incidentally, he also visits the German language course at Café Welcome. In Syria more precisely in Afrin his hometown, he went to the profession of shoemaker after he also performs in Germany. Here he came with help from smugglers in Turkey he boarded a small boat with his family and his cousin’s family. The destination was Greece, from there he came to Germany and he is also very happy to be here. The return to Syria, he can not even imagine after the war. After talking to a migrant a lot, I was also interested in why the volunteer helpers “work” there. We talked to a young helper who told us that a big reason why she helps there is that her father was also new in Germany before and he had a difficult time here. Therefore, she wanted to help the migrants to integrate as best as possible. An important point for them is to have empathy as the refugees all go through a difficult time. The one and a half hours in Café Welcome were very informative but touching because the refugees risked their lives to give themselves and their children a liveable life.